Taking charge of your dog’s diet is a full-time job, especially since dogs seem to be constantly hungry! However, there are some common mistakes that many dog owners make in relation to feeding their dog. The most damaging of these mistakes is to feed your dog an incorrect portion size. There are many health and behavioral conditions in dogs that can be a result of over or underfeeding. To prevent this, it is essential that you are familiar with the factors that can influence how much food you should be feeding your dog.

Depending on how old your dog is, you will need to adjust their feeding portion accordingly. Though some dog food formulas have a general guideline that gives you an idea of how much food your dog will need, most only cite your dog’s weight as an influential factor. As a general rule, you will have to feed your dog less as a puppy, more as an adult, and less when they are over seven years of age. This is because as your dog ages, their metabolic rate will fluctuate slightly. It’s also best that you switch formulas in each of your dog’s life stages, since this will affect your dog’s development and caloric intake.


The majority of commercial dog food formulas include a weight chart that will allow you to figure out how much your dog should be eating each day. However, there is a general rule that you can use as far as portion size. If your dog weighs up to 10 lbs, you will want to feed them around one cup of food per day. If your dog weighs from 10 to 25 lbs, you need to feed your dog from 1 ½ to 2 ¼ cups per day. If your dog weighs from 25 to 50 lbs, they will require from 2 ¼ to 3 ¾ cups of food per day. Dogs that weigh from 50 to 75 lbs will need from 3 ¾ cups to 5 cups per day. If your dog weighs over 75 lbs, you will want to feed them from 5 to 8 cups of dog food per day. These are the general guidelines for dry food formulas, and should be adjusted when feeding your dog canned food formulas.


Contrary to popular belief, the guidelines stated for your dog’s daily feeding portion should be adjusted according to your dog’s activity level. Some dogs that are highly active should be fed slightly more food per day. However, it is important not to overfeed your dog, since this will cause them to have a higher likelihood of becoming obese. If your dog has a low level of activity, and spends a significant amount of time indoors, you will want to feed them slightly less than their recommended daily portion. As stated before, you need to only use very slight adjustments when finding the proper portion of food for your dog. This will prevent your dog from gaining weight, or from becoming prone to malnutrition.

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Question:  Do you adjust the amount of food your dog consumes based on their activity level?